Like many of us, I have my unique “critter comfort” media that I love but wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. I learned my lesson back when I was a teenager and recommended the drive-in horror flick, Dead and Buried to someone and never heard the end of it. The same could be said for the original Phantasm or dozens of other beloved “cheesy” horror and Lifetime movies. I love “camp,” and I always have, but I realize I’m in the minority, and I’m okay with that. Camp aside, I recommend Lifetime’s newest VC Andrews’ inspired series, Flowers in the Attic: The Origin, to anyone who enjoys a good family drama that’s well-acted and directed. The writing is excellent, and the settings and costumes bring the series to life.
Yes, there are changes from the book it’s based on, Garden of Shadows, the final book in the Dollanganger series penned by Andrews Neiderman from VC Andrews’ notes. The most significant casting addition is Foxworth Hall’s maid Nella. What could have been just a throw-away character to add padding to the four-part series greatly enriches the story thanks to good writing and performance by T’Shan Williams–a mostly musical theater performer. Well, she has found a new fan in me because I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. Some of the other changes included a “forbidden” gay relationship and a sub-plot concerning a mix-up of poisonous herbs and marijuana, which worked for the most part, although the animal slaughter scene was a bit over the top, even for me.
I’ve also developed a serious crush on Max Irons who plays the devious and dastardly Malcolm Foxworth. Discovering he was Jeremy Irons’ son only deepened my obsession. This is a series I will return to many times.
Unlike the cringe performances, clunky dialogue, and anachronistic costumes of former VC Andrews’ fair, it’s clear that money was spent on this production. I’m happy to see it, and I hope Lifetime continues to produce such excellent VC Andrews content. A little bird told me the Cutler Series is in the works. I can’t wait!
Check out my video review of the series. Have you watched it yet? If so, please leave a comment and let me know what you think.